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*Terrorists AGAIN*

*MultiMage Chronicles, Part Lamda*

&The day after the rescue op to Beryll's brig

A fretful night it was for the Emperor of the MultiMages. Several times, he was awoken to the sound of firebombs, which was beginning to piss him off, untill they stopped. Perchance the Gangster Deciphels were wiping out another local gang? 'Twould save me a lot of trouble, he thought.

Role call was at 0550, usual. Eric just rolled out of bed, got up, and dressed in his usual school attire. Unusual to the day, he packed in a Python .357 magnum, feeling like the usual 92FS by Baretta wouldn't handle an unknown challenge. Mess hall was serving Pop Tarts for a change, and Eric managed to cram down 8, not knowing that they'd be the last food he thought of for some time.

He reported down to CNC, in the belly of the Mansion's 10 underground floors, to see who was blowing off steam, and to wake the Scouts (The stars didn't like him yet, and were unwilling to accept a Scouter this early). Eric tried the secure channel system to Ami's scouter first, and got no response form the system.

"Mike, why am I not getting any confirmation tone for P-P Scouter comms to Ami's?"

Mike checks his screen. "Scouter inoperative, sir."

Eric's face screws into a grimace. "Explain."

"Either power source is removed or unit is destroyed. Only explanations. Same with all of the other scou-"

"What of those firebombs?" his voice betrayed a note of anxiety.

"Mayor says they were Natural Gas Explosions. I told him off, and checked the Seismographs, the explosions are made of this device." He taps his pen on a screen, displaying a rotating view of a bomb. "Very Elite, not just pro. United States CIA, US NSA, British MI6, British Military, United States Delta Force. Only ones who can even consider making or using such a device right."

"How close was the blasts?"

"Stan reported that he saw part of a blast from one of the forest paths, sir." Eric jumps and runs out of the CNC.

"All units," he begins on his scouter while running down the twisting halls under the mansion. "Set code Yellow. All contact has been broken with the Planetary Princesses, Foreign Terran Militaries believed to be involved. Stand by for orders." He continues running down the hall, and nabs a M-16A2 from a soldier who was waiting by an elevator that exits outside near the Forest Road. Once out, he teleports to the forward guard post, near Luigi (Who had pulled fore guard duty in an Axeman). Being fairly into Summer, the sun was up and shining on the houses that lined the street straight ahead of him, which also included Serena's house.

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"We are live, standing in front of just one of 13 residencies that were destroyed to Natural Gas explosions last night. You, ma'am, can you tell me what happened?" Ms. Coleman points the mic in the direction of Serena's mom. They could all tell that something was happening-like an earthquake, but not as powerful.

"These guys broke in and kidnapped our daughter, and they torched the place, and then this soldier came running out of there, and he stopped in front of our house, and...I hate it!" She collapses in sobbing. Presently, the soldier comes running past again, with his rifle pointed skyward. It was Sammy that noticed first, as he was the closest to him as he ran by, and heard his assault gear rattle. Strangely he stops in the middle of the road.

"HEY! LUIGI!" he shouts toward the forest. Much to the aghast of the news crew, a large human-looking robot emerges from the forest, painted green and holding a large Ax. it stops in front of the soldier, and hunches over to look down at him.

"Yeah, boss?" is transmitted over the speaker. The news crew begins approaching rapidly.

"They're all whacked. Torch or incindiery, just as CNC said. Get the dogs loose. Line abreast if need be, I want them found, Quinneg?!?"

"AFF, SIR!" he shouts over the speaker. "Need anything?" he transmits at a lower volume.

"Neg. I'll just run it with the Elementals. Get your ass Moving, Soldier!"

"AFF!" The 'mech steps over him, and continues down the road.

Eric remains in place, and the crews begin to approach him, cautiously, as he was holding an assault rifle and a not-too-pleasant expression. Before they can even ask him a question, another loud set of robot feet can be heard approaching from the forest. Out dashes a smaller, faster mech, and stops dead in front of him.

"Star Colnel, get your scouts out and about, end to end on the city with their Beagles and Advanced sensors at 1/2 mile overlap. I want them found NOW. Report anything to me, not the political officer."

"Yes, sir!" the unit twists around and looks at an oncoming horde of more like it. "All right, I want full sensors with Bloodhounds, at 1.5 Mile intervals. If you pick anything up on Clan or Star League frequencies, report it to the boss. NOW MOVE!"

Sammy steps up to the soldier first. "Are you looking for Serena?"

"Is she one of them that was kidnapped?" he retorts calmly.

"Why are you looking for her?" Serena's dad asks.

"One of the organizations that has been pestering me may be responsible for this. If so, we can demoralize them by undoing their work."

"Sam Coleman, WNTW News, how do you know what happened here?"

"The blast pattern suggests PETN Explosives, and one of my officers saw the blast and a black van leave the area. I'd clear back, there will be a lot of military forces coming through here soon." Eric looks down the forest trail again. His radio starts buzzing. Eric turns it on. "Report, Star Colnel," he clicks off the XMIT button.

"I found them, sir! They are in the warehouse district, Taekuchi Avenue, 5th Large warehouse, one of them you used to use."

Eric changes channels on the radio pack. "All units, Green Light to commence operation StarStrike 2. Location is at co-ordinates 83 by 227 by 1. Deploy all units not on Garrisson."

"Attention CIA forces, you are not authorized to conduct urban operations in Tokyo."

"Sorry Mr. Director, we are conducting this operation. All units, shift deployment package to Urbana-Beta-2. Minimal Civil damage as possible, or it's coming out of your paychecks." A vehicle pulls up next to the road, adorned with two heavily armed soldiers on top. Eric vaults up, and the vehicle scoots off. Before the reporters can react, the whole ground starts heaving underfoot. The forest path betrays about a hundred mechs and equal amounts of tanks, as well as soldiers and the armor-clad Elementals. A particular shock was the Mauler units moving by. They had been the units that took out the pacificans in Downtown, and now they moved again in the view of the public.

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"Hey, do you feel that, Serena?"

"I do, Lita."

"Battlemechs." Raye says, and looks in their direction. The guards in the room look at each other, and then at them. "I count about a hundred. Infantry and Tanks, as well."

"Shuddap!" one of the soldiers hits Raye, and she clamps her jaw shut.

"Silence the messenger? Pointless. Eric has whipped out all of his aces and he intends on getting us back, or each and every one of you dead." The windows in the decrepit building begin to rattle.

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"I want a two-point perimter, around the warehouse and two files out. Not even a mosquito is to get in, quinneg? CNC, get me a mobile HQ and no shortage of MREs down here. As well, get a MASH down here. Deploy Elemental crews 11A-F in Elemental Carriers down here. Get me a Rifleman-2C as well, we may need the firepower to swat bugs."

"Aff, sir." [you heard him, get to work!].

Eric rolls off of the APC and climbs an adjacent building to the target. Using binoculars, he gets a good view of his foes: FOH shocktroopers, and a single warrior in a black jumpsuit. The battlemechs start approaching, and all of the soldiers jump inside.

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"SHIT!! They have us surrounded and WAY outgunned! what do we do, sir?"

"We hold our ground untill our ride arrives. They won't risk their little girls..."

"FOH Base, your chopper is ETA 3 minutes out. Locals report that you have been surrounded. Hold out, we'll see about getting them to slack up." the radio in the corner crackles.

"Now what?"

"We wait for them to make a move." their leader draws the slide back on an American-made Browning model 1911 .45 ACP.

{Eric! Get us outta here!}

{I'm working on it, Raye, but these guys haven't even tried comms with us. For your own safety, I've removed anything that the Negaverse could put to use against you and us. Your power sticks and the like are back at the base under guard of Gerard, with the exception of the Silence Glaive, which I have.}

Raye gasps.

"What is it?" Serena asks, wriggling in her restraints.

"Eric has all of our special gear."

"That means I will have to beat him for the Imperium Crystal, then." a figure emerges from the shadows. They all instantly recognize him: Prince Daryion. "Or, better yet, I'll make him an offer he can't refuse: your lives for the Crystal."

Katy laughs aloud. When queried, she responds that if Serena is killed, the crystal will revert back to him and make it impossible for the Negaverse to win. This earns her a good shot with the flat of Daryion's blade. Outside, everyone can hear the yelp and shouts of the girls.

The media arrives in full force, and sets up to record all of the happenings of this hostage situation. Sam Coleman (Who was a favorite of the command staff for reporting the whole unedited story) was granted access to the MHQ, provided that she didn't interfere, once it arrived. She was the only one who reported on both ends of the story; one of the other reporters (who favored the FOH) reportede a very bias version, and the rest didn't get most of what happened.

Once the Mobile HQ arrives, Eric grabs a radio from the case and draws his .357. One of the FOH members notices him approaching, and shouts something into the building. Eric approaches with his firearm up and ready, and places the radio in plain sight of the door. He then falls back, waving the magnum around and making sure that no-one tries for him. Once back behind allied lines, the elementals arrive, and begin filing in to the assorted ranks of infantry that have been here for almost five minutes. Out of the west is heard a chopper: something the MultiMages don't employ.

"Boss, Listen to this: 'CIA forces, this is Nimitz carrier group. the chopper you have undoubtedy picked up is here to extract prisoners who have dissented in an illegal manner against the United States. Your assistance is not required.' Sir, Here's another one: 'Nimitz carrier group, you are authorized to extract FOH militants. I shall override Eric's control on his men and you will get the dissenters without harassment.' That second message was from your Political officer. Wait, coming through on his frequency. Stand by. 'Emperor, you are not authorized to conduct militaristic operations in Tokyo. Return your forces to the base.'"

"Open channel to all involved parties." the chime rings, signaling a direct link to the Pentagon Situation room. "Now hear this, Ladies and Gentlemen. Members of the 'Friends of Humanity' militaristic hate group have kidnapped several of my best units. The fact that United States militaries have violated Japanese airspace and seas to conduct an illegal operation-in more ways than you think-disturbs the citizens of Tokyo as well as my crack Regiments in Delta Base. I request that you order the FOH members to release them to us at once. Realize this, that we will NOT let them be extracted to await a farce tial on imagined crimes in the US, either."

"Colnel Eric, Admiral Greer. The President has ordered that they be brought in for questioning on matters you have been conducting. You will let them be airlifted or you will be attacked."

"Negatory. I will not let some of my best warriors be taken from me when they can better serve the US and myself here. I ask that you release them before this gets violent."

"You are hereby stripped of you rank pending-"

"Very well, Admiral," Gerard piped in. "We, the CIA 404th Tactical, hereby resign from active service of the government of the United States of America. We shall now hold to our original Identities: the 12886th MultiMage TechStrikers, otherwise known as 'The Emperor's Elites'. All units, switch up monikers. We no longer serve the imperialistic United States. Lunar Guard of the 12886th, I order you to deploy in Aerofighters to cover for the Emperor and the ground assaults against known United States Partisans."

"SEYLA!" Everyone transmitted at the end of that.

"Admiral Greer, I extend you Hegira: You may withdraw your ships from the theater of combat or they, too will be eliminated as forces in assault of a MultiMage unit. And I do have Aerofighters with missiles big enough to sink a battleship in one shot. It's called the Thunderbolt; Phalanx AMS units are ineffective against it. The forces you have on ground, however, can only escape with unconditional surrender terms. That means you just lost Delta Force. If you wish to reconsider the matter, you may order them to release the hostages NOW and I'll consider releasing them to you. However, they will be shot on sight if they are found commiting seditious acts against the Multimages."

"FOH members, you are ordered to ELIMINATE the hostages and take as many of them as possible with you." Admiral Cheddwidken says across the line.

"We can't do that, sir. They'll kill us if we do." The line breaks.

"FOH Members, I wish a one on one negotiation with any member of your organization. I shall come unarmed, provided you have the honor to come at all." Presently, the chopper enters sight, and is immediately tracked by 10 battlemechs, giving it the "radar lock" warning. "allow it to land, then disable it." Eric says on a closed channel to his units. The chopper lands, and as soon as it settles, one of the Elementals who had volunteered fires the Small laser into the rear rotor, slicing it off. A rooftop sentry fires on the Elemental. "Don't shoot back!" The Elemental that was hit several times collapses, and a warrior rushes forward to drag him back behind the lines.

"MultiMage, we hear your request, but we will decline. What would you do if we shot one of them?" He draws back the bolt on a M-16, which is evident to those around Eric.

"What if I whipped out a Thunderbolt 20 and nuked the bulding? We can play this game all day, maggot. I'm reknown for being able to stay up for 120 hour periods at a time, living off Caffene, MREs, and British Pop music. CNC, send me a Catapult-M4. Are you going to reconsider?" the response is a gunshot, followed by a loud Scream from Ami.

"I'll personally kill each one of them by inches, one shot a minute, untill I am affirmed a ride out of here. It's that simple."

"You kill any of them, and you will earn a Rede of Annihalation against the FOH: you, your organization, your families, and any supporters will be killed or sterilized untill the FOH is little more than a memory. That simple, maggot." The first of the Aerofighters overflies the building, and fan out over the city.

The radio crackles again. "United States Government, Eric Atrebas is acting out of his authority. I am decomissioning him, and I claim the throne of the MultiMages by internal COC protocols pertaining to militaristic action."

"MHQ, Activate HPG, rig for class 3 TX." Once the comms officer reports readiness, Eric Begins. "All MultiMage forces, this is Eric Atrebas, Disputed Emperor. Baron/Political officer Scrubb has laid claim to my throne. In such disputes, it is the choice of a Grand Council to decide who remains in the position, not a Trial Of Position. I hereby declare a Grand Council: members are all active military units in the service of the Multimages. Here is the reasonings of Baron Scrubb for trying to boot me." Eric replays the messages, in transmission order. "Baron Scrubb, do you have any comments for this trial before it goes to vote?"

"No." he replies on the same HPG TX.

"All members are afforded 25 minutes to cast their votes." the wait was almost too much for some of the soldiers: Eric has been the Emperor, and Scrubb has no right to claim something he can't do. the 25 is up, and Eric re-rigs his comm set for a class 3 HPG TX.

"Central Computer system, MultiMage palace, are you online?"

"Yes Eric Atrebas." It responds in a human voice.

"Tally all vote results and transmit broadband HPG to all outposts, including details about the dispute."

"Error." it responds.

"Clairify, Central." Baron Scrubb shouts across the Mic.

"Stack dump overflow."

"Increase Cache area from Hard Disks and recompute." Eric transmits drolly.

"Vote is tallied: 1.3049772384 times 10 to the 43rd power have voted for Eric Atrebas, against 624 for Baron Scrubb. 18 Denotations on votes for Scrubb indicate forced votes. Council votes for Emperor Atrebas to retain position."

"Chief of the Watch, place Baron Jack Shit under arrest; Brig him. I'll deal with the dissenter later." He redirects his radio to transmit toward the building. "Now, FOH members, you just lost your ace, and you hold but 13 cards out of a deck numbering in the thousands. Your call."

Another gunshot is heard from inside. Everyone looks at Eric, who just shakes his head. "FOH members, I'm assuming that shot was either missed or a minor wound, correct?"

"A minor wound, Emperor Eric, but my blade will be more thirsty if we are not allowed out."

"Prince Daryion?" Daryion responds affirmatively. "I cannot allow you out unless the Hostages are released. They are part of a plan that will restore this plane back to it's former glory of the Star League. However, you are not part of that solution as far as I can forsee, and therefore expendable. I may also remind you that no person has ever survived a direct hit from a PPC, of which there is around 600 out here. 'tis your call, and you know how accurate the Lunar Guard was."

"SIR!" one of the MadCat pilots shouts across the speaker. "Incoming conventional aerial strikefighters, FA-18 class."

Eric redirects his radio again toward the ships, which were closing in toward the dockside warehouses. "United States displacment Naval vessels, you are violating the soverignty of Japanese waters, as well as MultiMage airspace. Recall your strikefighters or they will be swatted. Leave this isle as-is and never return in anger, or face a juggernaut the likes of which Humanity as a whole hasn't seen in 2500 years." The fighters enter visual, but they don't get any radar spikes. Ahead, they pick up aerial contacts numbering in the hundreds: MultiMage aerofighters. "All battlemech units with Gauss rifle or Light Gauss rifles, activate X-Targeting module, target all FOH members and Delta Force members. Prepare to fire on my mark." the figthters approach closer, and another gunshot eminates from inside.

The fighters transmit a warning in Japanese. "United States fighters, this is your last warning. Turn away or be eliminated." the fighters continue on, and one wing of Aerofighters armed with thunderbolts and Large Lasers break off to run a fly-by on the battleships.

To date, no-one that was there knew which happened first: the Missouri being hit by Thunderbolt-20s, the Aerofighters engaging and mashing the Navy skyjocks, or Eric ordering the battlemechs to eliminate everyone in the building that wasn't allied. Regardless, 10 seconds saw three of the fastest played-out battles in the galaxy ever to happen. The USS Missouri limped home with several holes in it's thick armor; not one aerofighter was hit. The Hornets were swat out of the sky like they weren't even there by the elite 12886th aerojocks. The US also found out that such planes are relatively resistant to even the AIM-54 Phoenix, which had long been the best AAM in their arsenal. And every warrior in the building, save Prince Daryion, who was tasked to someone who didn't shoot their Gauss rifle, was carted out with extremely large holes in them, and some with sheet metal splinters where they had been thrown through (steel) walls.

"*Iron Rock Crusher*!!!" Eric rapidly spins the Silence Glaive above his head, and quickly spins it downward, to point at the ground and in the direction of the building. It creates a magnetic surge of pressure, which knocks down the entire building, and ensures that no-one in the building is alive, with the exception of the Scouts or Daryion, who resisted the attack. The Elementals converge in on the building, and begin sifting through the rubble, searching for the Scouts and the FOH members. All of he FOH members are recovered, and the Scouts are found with the assorted bullet hole in a leg or arm, and none of them are feeling very good. Prince Daryion wasn't found; he was presumed vaporized by the attack Eric slung.

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"Will you tell me why you are applying for licenses, sir?"

"The boss wants us to obey as many local laws as possible. Why is still beyond me, m'lady. Though, this is gonna cost him a fortune to maintain."

"Okay, what weapons are you registering?"

Gerard looks at her quizically. "This is done per weapon?" When she responds, he lists all of the weapons he owned privately. About six lines (in what is usually a walk-in, walk out job) were formed to handle the crowds.

The whole of the MultiMage garrissons spent the day at the city recorder's office, registering for concealed weapons licenses, Assault weapons licenses, vehicular licenses, and downtown parking permits. Eric spent the day with the Mayor, working out licensing requirements for Battlemech and Aerofighter licensing (mainly details for parking inside city limits). No one reported to school that day: no one wanted to after that close shave with the US government.

All day, APCs were seen at various local government buildings, as well as assorted Elemental points around town, to track down any remaining FOH members. Elementals (which citizens couldn't tell if the pilot was in them or out, save moving ones) were also found outside buildings like Gas stations, supermarkets, and City hall. MCVs were assigned to replace the houses that were torched; it was a shock for Serena's parents to see a MultiMage engineering crew drive up in their large MCV and site-build them a better house than they had to begin with, and then have an Adder (Puma) drop off new appliances and furniture custom delivered in the space of 3 hours.

Tokyo had finally accepted that they lived in the shadow of a large Battlemech base, and because of the bonuses in Policing/milita duties that they would provide, few complained for long in the city.